In a significant move aimed at easing the financial burden on devotees, the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has announced a substantial reduction in the Atka Aarti fee for pilgrims opting for the online facility. This decision comes as a relief, allowing four individuals, including two adults and two children (up to 10 years old), to attend the sacred Atka Arti for a combined fee of Rs 5100, a notable decrease from the previous Rs 2000 per person charge.
Revamping Atka Aarti Fees for Online Participants
The revised fee structure is exclusively applicable to groups making use of the online booking platform. The earlier Atka Aarti fee of Rs 2000 per person stands for on-the-spot bookings, requiring separate payments for accommodation at Bhawan. However, for those utilizing the online facility, accommodation costs are integrated into the booking process.
Enhanced Capacity and Extended Offer Period
The Shrine Board’s recent infrastructure expansion has enabled an increased attendance capacity, allowing 400 to 500 devotees to participate in the aarti simultaneously. The Atka Aarti, conducted near the old natural cave during morning and evening hours, continues to draw devotees who have applied for the experience.
Duration of Reduced Fees and Future Review
The reduced fee structure is set to remain in effect until the end of February. Subsequently, the Shrine Board will conduct a review to determine the continuation of the reduced fees. The strategic timing of this decision, between November and February, aims to encourage more devotees to avail themselves of the facility during a period of comparatively lower pilgrimage traffic.
Official Confirmation and Devotee Optimism
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Chief Executive Officer, Anshul Garg, has officially confirmed the decision to reduce the Atka Aarti fees, reflecting the Board’s commitment to enhancing the pilgrim experience.